Tamron 70-200 f 2.8 Best for Portraits or Zoom/reach ? Zoom isn't working for me ;-(


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Jun 1, 2013
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I bought the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 thinking I would get better quality pictures than the Kit lens (I no longer have) 18-200mm that comes with the camera sometimes in those kits. I was not happy with that lens. Anyway it feels REALLY heavy and BIG and i asked the people in the camera store if it was because it had better glass. They said yes. It takes great pictures with awesome bokeh when I do close ups and am not standing too far from some one. However, every time I have tested it out to take a picture of a squirrel or bird, in my back yard (Its not a big yard) the animal comes out blurry. I know I snapped those pictures of those birds when they were sitting still on the fence. Same for when I am trying to get pictures of my oldest (16,he was my test model),or of of my cat when he was lying very chill&still in the back yard. So it seems the nice clear pictures are only when I use the lens for closer ups at a much closer distance "portrait style". I'm happy with my nikkor 85mm f 1.8D for portraits so I don't need this big huge long (*note every expensive*) lens for *only* portraits. I bought it thinking I could get better clearer pictures of stuff like birds,or anything that is basically further away. So I could zoom in closer to get better shots of animals at the zoo, or when we go on nature hikes, etc... If all it's good for ( with clear images) is closer up portrait style photos, then I have buyers remorse and will be wanting to take it back to the store . I feel bad,because obviously i made a mistake buying the wrong thing. Unless there is something I'm doing wrong. And this is really a user error thing.
BTW, I even used the tripod to make sure I wasn't shaking the camera any. Also, it says DX on the box and i'm wondering if this is a DX lens. I'm trying to stick with FX lenses, now that I know I want to upgrade to a FF in a year or so. I'm not trying to sound ungrateful BTW. I actually am NOT made of money and this was a CC purchase so I feel bad that I should have done more research ,and I think it was more an impulse buy . I just need to know if I bought the lens for the wrong reason, or if I'm doing something wrong.
You can pick up a used/clean Nikon AF 80-200 F2.8D for less than the cost of that Tammy.
It's an awesome lens!!!
which Tamron lens did you get?
we have a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 NON VC and have had no issues with it at all.
I shoot it handheld at 200mm just fine without getting blurry photos.
Im not sure I would really consider it a "portrait" lens though. I would much rather use my 50 f/1.4 or 85 f/1.8 for portrait work.
its not a lens I use terribly often, so I didn't get the VC version, but for what I use it for its been great, especially since i rarely need a shutter speed under 160.
Just shot a wedding with that lens, and had zero issues with focus or motion blur.

we cant really give you much advice without you posting some pictures that you think have issues, and the exif data for them.
its very possible it is user error, and not the lens. could be the lens too. cant tell with the information you have provided.
OlaA, I actually just got my D7100 in the mail (I have used this camera before, just returned my other one to costco because I didn't like al lthe stuff that came in the kit) from B&H photo online and I couldn't tell if its the camera having a focusing issue or ME, after using a D3200 for a week as a back up and forgetting all the settings. I was testing it out in the yard yesterday and I did notice that whenever I used the live view to capture pictures of my cat (He lays very still for me, and lets me photograph him) I would have the red square right on his face,and it would STILLfocus right behind/to the side of him and get the grass instead ! But strangely, after zooming in a few times (on the live view,not with lens) to focus more pint point on his face, it stopped doing it. I am a viewfinder ,user and don't normally use the live view. But I was testing the camera out just to make sure it worked . I will check out that link above. I hope its not the camera ! I read that b&H needed to be notified within 2 days if there is anything faulty on the camera. I have had it about 4 days now,and haven't had enough time to check all the settings . But it seemed the tamron lens is the one that isn't working when zoomed al lthe way out to past 135mm's.
pixmedic I'll see if I didn't already delete those pictures . And post them. I usually delete pictures right away,if they are blurry. I know I did delete the messed up ones of the cat,but not sure about the bird ones. Ok, I had to re size them and it converted them to jpeg. here:
View attachment 52854View attachment 52855

This is of my niece close up :
View attachment 52856View attachment 52857 but I did not go past 102mm's with her so maybe I can't compare. But the distance was much closer as far as how close I was standing to her.
I hope it's just ME ,or the lens. Not the camera. I'll have to do this back/front focus test tomorrow. I have to go get my youngest from daycare and start dinner and all that stuff.
I hope it's just ME ,or the lens. Not the camera. I'll have to do this back/front focus test tomorrow. I have to go get my youngest from daycare and start dinner and all that stuff.

Have you been paying attention to your shutter speed and how fast you click the shutter after you focus? Sounds like the issue only comes up in situations with moving targets which more than likely is a personal problem, maybe slow focusing on the motor too though?
The bird on the fence is a slowish shutter speed. I can see some slight movement of the camera. ALso, note the length of the rain drops...the speed is surely under 1/160 second, or the drops would not render as 3 to 4 inch long streaks. I would say the bird on the fence is focused, but blurred by slight camera movement due to too slow of a shutter speed.
They were all shot at f/2.8 and 1/100 second. You have a very narrow depth of field at f/2.8 which appears to be a big part of your problem. Parts of the images ARE in sharp focus, just not the entire image due to the depth of field. Look at the baby's eyes in the last one. The eyes are sharp but the mouth is already getting soft.
I will be looking for a different lens. I did the back/front focusing test on my camera and lenses. I took more test pictures and played around with the zoom lens more to see if I could figure it out. There is nothing wrong with my camera or the two fixed lens. I couldn't figure out why pictures from past 100mm's were not as sharp /crystal clear (even with a larger f# ) like my other lenses produce. Either my expectations were too high, or I am just not ready for a lens like that due to lack of experience and needing to learn more ;-( . So with a heavy heart (I really didn't want to ,but it would be sitting at home and not get used) I returned it to the store I got it from.
I still want a lens that can get closer up pictures for when we go to the zoo,nature walks,etc.. so now I'm on the hunt for the right one and the problem of me not knowing which is the right one,and not having solved the problem with the 70-200mm leaves me frustrated. For now I will just go look for an inexpensive used one off ebay or B&H photos and settle for that,until I find the "one" and it needs to be FX, since I'm trying to only get fx lenses to save $ for when I upgrade to full frame in a couple years.
As for my niece's pictures, I have been trying to avoid having to bump up the ios by keeping the shutter as low as i can,and AP as open as i can to bring in more light. Inside my house I have to keep the iso real high and the pictures stop being crystal clear and look grainy. Because i can't figure out how to use my speed light correctly. Outside, this whole past week it's been pouring rain non stop it seems,and super cloudy /dreary. I have to have the ios at least 400, if not 800 when I put the aperture up past 4 and I hate hate having to bump up the ISO so much like that because of how bad it makes the picture look (not as crisp&clear). So again,that's why I had it so wide open. Normally on a sunny day I like to do a faster shutter speed,and have to in order to keep it from being over exposed.
I have been taking pictures for so many years thinking I knew what I was doing, when I really knew nothing, and its been a real big wake up call these past few weeks. Family members really shouldn't tell their loved ones how awsome they are doing when they really are not. :/
I don't know how to use light room (just bought that) don't own photo shop,so I can't correct things in my photos and am trying hard to get them right from the start. Maybe I'm expecting too much to try to get really super clear pictures with nothing but a camera and a flash.
For good reach with good optical properties I'd recommend looking at the Nikon 70-300 AF-S. It is a very popular, very good mid-range zoom. I probably use mine more than all my other lenses combined.
For good reach with good optical properties I'd recommend looking at the Nikon 70-300 AF-S. It is a very popular, very good mid-range zoom. I probably use mine more than all my other lenses combined.

Yeah, I'd have to agree with SCraig on the 70-300 Nikon VR lens. It's available, widely, in the used market for a good price. For the money it costs used, it's worth every cent. I have one. It's better than I "thought" it would be.
your d7100 should handle much higher iso's than 800 and still be clean as long as its properly exposed.
your d7100 should handle much higher iso's than 800 and still be clean as long as its properly exposed.
Well, then I need to try to get over the fear of using an ISO of 800+ and maybe just practice taking pictures in lower light with higher ISO . Thank you for the lens suggestion. I'll check out the Nikon 70-300

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